UPDATED - VIDEO: Gray Seals Coming Under Fire on Cape Cod

Seals are coming under fire on Cape Cod and here at the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Team, are doing everything possible to get to the bottom of it.VIDEO: This story, filed by New England Cable News reporter Alysha Palumbo, on location in Dennisport, MA features an interview with the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Research and Rescue team stranding coordinator Sarah Sharp.UPDATE 6.14.11: International Fund for Animal Welfare donors and staff step up and offer $5000 reward to stop gray seal shootings. The news that yet another gray seal was found shot to death last Friday on Cape Cod beaches was another devastating blow to so many animal-loving residents on Cape Cod. So much so, that concerned individuals have come forth to offer reward money to see this stop once and for all. Over the past five weeks or so, a total of six gray seals have been found shot on beaches stretching from Dennis to Chatham. IFAW and NOAA Law Enforcement agents are urging people to come forth with information leading to an arrest of those responsible for these senseless acts. In addition to the $5,000 reward from IFAW donors and staff, two other groups are offering $2500 each bringing the total reward to $10,000. Gray seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This federal law prohibits the harassment and killing of all marine mammals and violations can result in both civil and criminal penalties. If you have any information leading to those responsible for the seal shootings, please contact the NOAA OLE investigating agent at 508-990-8752. If you see a live or dead stranded marine mammal, please report it to the IFAW stranding hotline at 508-743-9548. To make a donation to IFAW’s lifesaving animal rescue work around the world, call 1-800-932-4329. Thanks to all for their continued support. -- KM ORIGINAL POST 6.10.11 Seals are coming under fire on Cape Cod and here at the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Team, we are doing everything possible to get to the bottom of it. While we were out on a routine stranding call in May, we noticed unusual wounds in a dead gray seal that we were examining.  Closer examination revealed that the animal had been shot.  We collected samples for further analysis and were able to determine that this animal died as a direct result of his gunshot-related injuries. https://blog.ifaw.org - A gray seal lies sheltered beside a rusty oil drum on the Shetland Isles in Scotland. c. 1993 IFAW/Richard Sobol This case was quickly followed by four more dead gray seals that showed evidence of similar injuries in a relatively localized area of the Cape. The team is very concerned about this sudden rise in the number of shot seals, since this is not something that regularly occurs in our area. What makes this story even more troubling is that some of these seals may have suffered for a prolonged period of time before finally dying from their injuries.  The only shot gray seal that we documented last year appeared to live for at least a week after being targeted. The bottom line is that these animals are suffering and dying at the hands of humans.  Since the gray seal population around Cape Cod appears to be increasing, people are going to be more likely to encounter seals at the beach and on the water.  Interactions are bound to occur, but we must learn to coexist. I, for one, am hoping that we can find a way to limit these interactions - allowing the seals to utilize their natural habitat, while providing people with the opportunity to enjoy local beaches and coastal waters without disturbing the seals. We'll do our best to keep you all posted. -- KM For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to save animals in crisis around the world visit https://www.ifaw.org

Comments: 4

6 years ago

hi, I wish i could help please tell me how, and i can go around my state and collect some money . I was down there on february 4, 2012 with my son and sister, we called ourselves the dolphin chasers, we are from schenectady new york, we went to the tip if rt. 6 to every bay to look for dolphins to help on saturday we talked to the ifaw team that was in the dunkin dounuts parking lot on 6a and i got my picture taken with a women carol cassidy i think she was wonderful and two dolphins were in the truck, and then sunday we went down to a road and found a dead dolphin and bird on the bay, called and some one came down to take care of this. It is so said now to hear of the seals, please send me something that i could go aroud and take up donations to send. debbie bisnett 1245 Libby ave, schenectady, new york 12309 my phone is 518-393-1934 i am serious about doing this my email is ocbreeze07@yahoo.com and if you could please find out for me how i can get intouch with carol.

7 years ago

Unfortunately whenever animals are in direct competition with humans the animals lose. Some fishermen feel that seals are vermin depleting their livelyhood. Same thing is going on in other states with the status of wolves. Both sides need to take a honest look at the true causes of depletion in resources.

7 years ago

I want to get involved! please email me on how can i help hhyder@ryerson.ca

I am very upset at this...

7 years ago

People have got to learn to coexist with wildlife, the planet was not just made for humans, some humans have got tos top being selfish and learn to share

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy